The maddening and fast paced world that exists these days, stress and anxiety affects every being at some point of time. Whether it is the work pressure, traffic jams, hectic schedules, family demands, financial strains or other mind boggling situations, coping with the constant stress could take a toll on your health and keeping your calm and composure seems a far-fetched goal. As a relaxed mind is essential for proper functioning of the whole body, taking control of problems, finding their solutions as well as building emotional strength to tackle them is a requisite for a healthy mind and body. As they say, it is easier said than done, coping with stress and anxiety appears to be a challenging task at hand and thus, we bring to you certain handy tips and techniques to help you achieve a peaceful state of mind.
- Shun away negative thoughts: As anxiety tends to create a lot of negative thoughts in one’s mind, the first and most important thing to do is to replace all negative thoughts with the positive ones. Though this sounds unachievable, little practice can make you control your thoughts and instill positive ones into your mind and you will feel renewed energy and strength to handle the situation. Moreover, positive thinking makes every problem look trivial and easily manageable and thus, your half the battle is already won.
- Take a deep breath: At times of trial, shut your mind off for a while and concentrate on your breathing. Taking long, deep breaths promotes blood circulation to the brain and soothes it down. In addition, deep diaphragmatic breathing reduced anxiety immensely as it activates the body’s relaxation response by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Meditation: Meditation has been known to be a very powerful practice to relieve the stress and anxiety off one’s mind. Practicing meditation daily alters the brain neural pathways and develops resistance to stress and promotes mental health. A healthy mind helps in overcoming turbulent conditions effectively and easily.
- Cocooning: It is the practice of relaxing the mind by placing both the palms on the sides of the face with fingers resting on the closed eyelids gently. This cocoons and closes the mind from outside world and quietens it providing immediate relief.
- Communicate with people: Discussing or sharing your problems with your closed ones eases the troubles and helps in finding a suitable solution to it. Usually, during upheavals or emotional turbulence, one fails to gather thoughts and think logically and thus, having someone to talk to and seek advice from is a major blessing and handling stress becomes easy. Therefore, having a good network of trusted friends and well wishers is one of the best tools for handling stress.
- Physical exercise: Physical exercise might not sound too appealing when you are worried or tensed about something, but studies and researches have revealed that regular exercise is an equally effective tool in dealing with stress and depression just like antidepressant or stress-relieving medications. Exercise promotes the growth of new cells in the brain, increases neurotransmitters or endorphins responsible for elevation of mood and thus, reduces the stress levels. Hence, develop a regular exercise schedule of about 30 minutes for continued positive effect on your mind.
- Mood-enhancing diet: Eating a healthy, balanced diet and cutting down on caffeine, alcohol and other unhealthy food items containing trans fats or chemical preservatives has a direct impact on your mental state and thus, taking proper care of your diet is highly essential for combating stress. Eating frequent small meals, and foods rich in omega3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, vitamin B-complex rich foods etc. play an important role in enhancing and stabilizing the mood. Minimize the intake of sugary food stuffs like baked products, French fries, pastas etc as they tend to lower the mood and the body energy levels.
Some people also, resort to binge eating when feeling low and thus, they need to take extra care about their diet as sugary cravings can worsen the situation and deteriorate their health.
- Essential oils and aromatherapy: Many essential oils have been proven to soothe the nervous system and relax the mind. Lavender, rose, chamomile are some of the popular essential oils that reduce the effects of stress on the body. You can directly apply these oils on your forehead, add them to your tea or smell in their aroma for instant relief. Some other herbs like passionflower, damiana, ginseng, licorice etc are also, known for their de-stressing properties.
- Adequate rest and sleep: One tends to ignore his or her health when going through a tough time and that is when, proper care is all the more important. Getting proper rest and sleep might not seem feasible as majority of people suffer from sleep problems when emotionally unwell. Getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep is recommended for managing stress and a crabby mood, as less sleep aggravates the condition leading to more stress, irritation, anger, fatigue and sadness. Try indulging into healthy sleeping habits for improving your sleep pattern and overcoming sleep problems.
- Involve yourself in activities you enjoy: To take your mind off the stressful situation, focus on things you enjoy like gardening, listening to music, reading, painting, writing and the like. Go for a walk or to your favorite spot, time out with friends, watch a good movie, take care of a pet or pamper yourself at the salon or the mall as these fun activities will bring a sense of pleasure in you and help you regain your lost energy and serenity. Initially, you might have to force yourself to indulge in these activities as you don’t feel like it but the result will surely surprise you and leave you feeling wonderful.
Gain control on your mind and thoughts with these useful tips and show the world your inner strength and power to deal with the toughest of life’s challenges with ease. Let’s not forget that beauty of life is seen by those who live life with a light heart and a vibrant head.
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